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By George Perkovich and James M. Acton, editors

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Reassurance from the US that a world without nuclear weapons would not increase the threat of US interventions need not be Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate | 31 a precondition for taking many steps towards nuclear disarmament, but Russia and China would be more halting participants to the degree that such reassurance was not provided. 20 The goal and project of prohibiting nuclear weapons cannot eliminate or sublimate power balancing, which is an enduring feature of international relations.

Israel does not have confidence that a globally agreed verification regime with an international organisation such as the IAEA as its inspectorate would ensure that all nuclear, biological and chemical weapons had been eliminated from the Middle East, nor that rearmament would be detected in a timely enough fashion to enable Israel to respond effectively. Even if all other nucleararmed states agreed to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, Israel would not join them unless political, security, verification and transparency conditions specific to the Middle East were to its satisfaction.

Japan might then seek nuclear weapons to secure itself during an uncertain transition to a nuclear-weapons-free world. This might in turn motivate South Korea to hedge or break its non-proliferation commitment. A similar scenario could be imagined in regard to Turkey, especially if Iran were to acquire a capability to produce nuclear weapons and NATO had attenuated its commitment and/or capacity to extend nuclear deterrence to its members. While these concerns cannot be dismissed out of hand, the risk that countries that now enjoy an extended deterrent would be left vulnerable on the way to abolition must not be exaggerated.

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Abolishing Nuclear weapons: a debate by George Perkovich and James M. Acton, editors


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